‘Horrific experience’: Bristol Airport travellers on early morning queues with one flight every three minutes

Bristol Airport is experiencing a busy morning period each day with more than 20 flights departing between 6am and 7am
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Bristol Airport is part way through its busiest period since 2019, with over 300,000 passengers planning to travel through the airport between Thursday, May 26 and Sunday, June 5.

The Platinum Jubilee bank holiday and the schools half-term means many customers are going on a well-deserved holiday, city break or to meet up with friends and family who live further afield.

Today (June 3), there are 112 flights set to depart from Bristol Airport.

At the time of writing, three Easyjet flights have been cancelled (one to Prague and two to Newcastle), and three other Easyjet flights have been delayed.

Bristol airport queues on Monday, May 30.Bristol airport queues on Monday, May 30.
Bristol airport queues on Monday, May 30.

The 12:50pm flight to Glasgow is delayed until 1:30pm, the 1pm flight to Newcastle is delayed until 2:05pm, and the 1pm flight to Berlin is delayed until 2:15pm.

In addition to this, a 3:45pm flight to Aberdeen, by LoganAir, is estimated to depart at 6:25pm.

Passengers travelling from Bristol Airport have taken to Twitter to share their positive and negative experiences of travelling from the airport.

One Ryanair customer, who arrived at 10am, took to Twitter to say he had “never been through so fast”.

Another passenger, who clearly expected a longer wait, said how she got through security in two minutes after arriving at “the airport 4 hours early”.

One customer reccommended to “travel with hang luggage only” after he experienced long queues at the bag drop.

Whilst one angry customer had a “horrific experience”.

However, another passenger, who didn’t comment on security wait times, shared a picture of the departures board showing lots of cancellations and delayed flights.

Based on previous delays and customer experiences, there is an airport ‘rush hour’ between 6am and 7am where there is the highest concentration in flights - and before they leave queues can be longer.

In this hour tomorrow, there are 22 flights scheduled to take off from Bristol Airport - five of which are set to depart at 7am. It is the equavelent of one flight every three minutes during the hour.

In addition to this, 48 flights are due to depart from the airport before 12:30pm.

What Bristol Airport say

Bristol Airport’s Head of Customer Operations warns passengers that arriving too early is “adding to the congestion in the terminal” - with some customers arriving more than five hours prior to their flight.

Richard Thomasson said: “The Bristol Airport team and business partners are working hard to ensure all customers have a smooth and easy journey through the terminal.

“For early morning flight departures we are seeing customers arriving 5 hours prior to flight departure, adding to the congestion in the terminal. This is something we have not experienced before.

“When customers are queuing before check-in and security opens it provides a negative customer experience for everyone, and one we want to avoid. We advise all customers to arrive in the terminal when their check-in opens, this helps us to manage resources and gets customers on their way quickly and efficiently as possible.

“Each day over 80% of customers experience less than a 20 minute security queue time, it is only during peak flight operations we extend beyond this.”

The main reason for the delays and chaos in the airport is because of staff shortages, after hundreds of jobs were cut when the travel industry almost came to a halt during the pandemic.

Bristol Airport and its Business Partners have been working hard to meet the post Covid challenges, after the rapid increase in travel.

This includes recruiting and training over 300 new colleagues; and offering additional overtime payments for existing colleagues.

Mr Thomassona added: “We have already made a positive start recruiting new colleagues across the business and it is great to see so many new colleagues joining the team ahead of the busy summer.”

Related topics: